Three days after Palo Alto officials approved a large, illuminated sign for the Grocery Outlet store at Alma Village, the city's architectural board granted another sign exemption to a local company whose brand is all too well known.
Tesla Motors secured on Thursday morning the approval of the Architectural Review Board for two signs in its newly opened showroom at 4180 El Camino Real. One would be an illuminated wall sign and another would be a freestanding "monument sign" along El Camino Real.
The board voted 5-0 to approve Tesla's request for two exemptions. Members agreed that one of the exemptions that Tesla requested (pertaining to the size of the wall sign) wasn't even necessary because the aluminum background of the sign would wrap around the existing wall. The real sign, board member Randy Popp said, is the Tesla logo, which would be 32 square feet in size (5 feet 8 inches by 5 feet 8 inches). The entire sign, including the 7-foot-4-inch-wide background, would have an area of 116 square feet.
The freestanding sign, meanwhile, would be neon red and 8 feet 6 inches tall and 4 feet wide. It would feature a Tesla logo constructed of white acrylic and internally illuminated with LEDs, according to a staff report.
The only exemption that the company needed, the board ruled, is the one granting it the right to have two signs. Collectively, they would exceed the allowed 100-square-foot sign area in the sign code.
The board swiftly granted the electric-car giant its wish. Board member Lee Lippert was one of several members to speak in favor of Tesla's proposal, framing the vote as an effort to support local businesses.
"Our community is served well by having an active, busy, prosperous merchants versus an abandoned automobile showroom, which is what we were faced with as soon as three years ago," Lippert said. "When you look at adjacent towns, they're struggling as they're losing their automobile usages."